Third world elections

I’m watching Twitter as the election unfolds. Already there are stories of voters being turned away from Polling Stations that have been unable to handle the sheer size of the crowds turning out. The BBC are saying the places counting for an early result are struggling with more ballot papers than they expected to handle.

On Twitter, @lewiscoakley is saying Sheffield City Council should be ashamed of themselves. 100s of students queueing to vote and not able to in Sheffield Hallam.

John Mothersole, Returning Officer for Sheffield, apologised to residents who were unable to vote in Sheffield today, and said “We got this wrong and I would like to apologise. We were faced with a difficult situation with the numbers of people, and a large amount of students turning up to vote without polling cards. This made the administration process of ensuring the correct person was given a ballot paper much longer. The only remedy, which we could not take, was to extend the voting times.”

However, there’s no requirement to bring a Polling Card to vote; and in Lewisham, faced with the same problem, the Returning Officer kept the Polling Stations open after 10pm to allow people to vote.

@masakepic reports Birmingham, police called out when voters turned away became angry. Could say left it too late, but people queued for hours.

@angoid Tweets Can they really deny people who have queued for over an hour the right to vote? Over 100 votes looking lost at London fields.

There are stories of people locked out in Hackney after queuing for an hour; the BBC have shown similar footage from Leeds. @simoncollister is Tweeting similar news from Highbury.

Here in Worthing West the queues have been stretching out of the door. There are reports of election officials in Adur reporting huge turnouts – in some wards, possibly 90%.

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